Saturday, April 16, 2011

I have been gone too long!

It has been a crazy winter here in Portland.  Rain, rain and more rain.  I know what you are thinking, I knew it rained there when I moved here.  But for some reason this winter has seemed like a lot more and for a lot longer. 

Walking around the hug mud hole...oh the rain! (photo by Patti Carter)

So even though it is still raining I have decided that I am going to make it Spring. 
  • I am going to bring out the happy Spring colored outfits. 
  • I am going to start heading to the farmer's market for goodies.  
  • Mama and I have signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) at Sauvie Island Organics for the next 30 weeks and I am super excited to share with you guys our glorious "share".  
  • I am going to take my evening walks outside.  
  • I am heading to IKEA this week to get me a new lounger for the wonderful deck I have here at the condo.  I see lots of days of reading and napping on this lounger.
  • And last but not least I am going to pick up some orange sherbet at the grocery store because it reminds me of the Push-Up ice cream we had as kids during this time of year and it makes me smile.  Do y'all remember Push-Up?!?  I loved them.  I know it was just sherbet in a paper wrapper but I loved pushing the yummy goodness through the paper cylinder.  I know, weird.
So Spring here I come ready or not!!! to find the "spring" in my step!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I love Sunya-day!

Yes, you are seeing that correctly.  Though my parents tell me differently I feel that I was named after Sunday.  It is my favorite day of the week.  It is my day to relax,  read, stitch, knit, organize, get all my chores done and rejuvenate myself for the upcoming work week.  If I am doing any special cooking or baking for the week I do it on Sunday and then just enjoy for the 6 remaining days.  Now on the flip side when I over plan my Sunday or get sidetracked by other activities, I feel like I am running like a crazy person all week and I never seem to catch up.

So today I have picked up the house, vacuumed, laundry, etc.  All the boring things in life that just need to be done.  But I have also been having some fun catching up on all my shows from the DVR and my new love... knitting.  I love it.  As I have said before I am not fast but that does not matter to me.  In my class (which I feel a blog about these ladies coming) we are now on to hats.  So in come the turbo circular needles (two needles with a cable connecting them), which also happen to be metal.  I had been using straight bamboo needles on my other projects.  I have to say it was not pretty yesterday at class.  It was a hard switch but after some practice...I am in love.  It is kinda like the purl stitch, not a big fan in the beginning but I am coming around. 

My new hat project...pattern by one of the cool ladies at Twisted!

Patti (one of my co-workers and knitting buddies) showed me this super cool carrier for all your circular needles.  Functional and can't beat that.  Oh but yes you can.  They are made right here in Portland by a lady named Terese for her company called Flower Pie Designs.  Check out her story on it!  Also if you want one of these cool needle case then you can order directly from Twisted.

Locally handmade circular needle case by Flower Pie Designs

So when I was not knitting I was working on something for my other new love oatmeal.  I posted before about this great Whipped Banana Oatmeal that I have been eating most every morning since I read about it.  But one of the things that I have on my oatmeal is some type of nut butter.  It is good protein and I just love it.  So I have been trying all kinds and then one of favorite bloggers Kath mentioned that she had made a Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter.  What...make my own.  I had never even thought of that.  OMG!  So great.  I was so happy that it turned out since I had the great muffin failure of 2011 yesterday.  I so needed something in the kitchen to work.

Raw organic almonds roasted w/ maple syrup and molasses...YUM!

Mixed with great pumpkin spices: ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg...make one good nut butter!

I have to say that after tasting this nut butter, I am not sure I will ever go back to store bought again.  There are so many options to try.  I am so excited.

Well time to get back to some knitting and the dryer is calling my name with that annoying beeping.

Have a great Sunya-day!
Sunya-shine (that's what my friend "formally known as CB" calls me...luv ya CK!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Turtle Knitting

As I mentioned in a previous post I am taking a knitting class.  But as with any new skill, it is taking some time to master and I am slow.  Like super slow.  Like turtle moving slow.  So I have decided I am doing turtle knitting.  I hope to one day move up to snail knitting.  But I am pretty realistic with myself in that I am sure I will never make it to hare knitting. 

My sister liked the scarf that I was knitting during our quick trip home to Tennessee.  So I am pretty sure I will be sending it to her because it really does match her super cute new coat.  But sorry Trish, at the rate my turtle knitting is going it could be summer before it is ready.

Here are some computer snaps of my progress.  Sorry I was too lazy to get up and get the good camera.  Plus I need to get back to knitting.  I have a new class starting on Saturday, so excited!!!  We are moving on to hats!  Yeah!

Knitty Night!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Annual New Year's Day Clean-Out

When I was a kid we always had to have the Christmas tree down before the new year.  It was bad luck.  I know that is crazy it was just the rule.  So since I don't do a tree anymore after my $25.00 Michael's special was eaten by my heavenly kitty Rem and cost my $250.00 in vet bills, I don't have to worry about spending my New Year's Day taking down a tree. 

So for the past few years I have been doing what I call my New Year's Day Clean-out. It is a day to re-organize and to get rid of anything that I have not used in the past year.  But you may say well I do that in the spring when I do spring cleaning.  Oh no my friends, in the spring I do spring CLEANING!  I pull the furniture out and vacuum and shampoo the carpets, I clean all the base boards, I clean all the light fixtures, I wipe out all the cabinets, clean windows inside and out, etc.

Also by doing my clean-out now I am still following the tradition of not bringing the old and unused into the new year.

I am still amazed that every year I have stuff to clear out and I am also amazed at how much my successful organization has some how gone to crap by the time December rolls around.  But for a while all is right with the world and my surrounding are once again in a neat and organized bliss.

So here is what I did:

I added a kitchen shelf unit last year because there are just not enough space in my rented condo's kitchen.  Now I can see all my goodies.  This year added a wine rack cause I went a little crazy at the wine store.  It was not all my fault, my favorite shop Cork is closing down the location near my office and everything was 20% off.  See not my fault.

 Then I started working on some of the cabinets...

Then I took on the front closet.  Some how the organization and clean-out from last year had failed.  If you look real close you can see a 3 drawer rolling cart.  That was from last year.  Still there was clearly work to be done.

Oh the sad before. :-(

Found these great zip top storage boxes.  Turns the shipping box nightmare into organized bliss.

Another one for all my outdoor stuff
The end result!

Then it was off to work on the office/guest room/storage room/kitty room.  Hey when you want to live in Portland in the cool parts of town, space is at a premium.  I am lucky to have 2 bedrooms at all.  I am still working on cleaning out the storage unit from the Florida move a year and a half ago.  Oh that made me feel bad thinking about that.  You can see here some of last years handy work, plus some boxes that came from Florida.  Time to give it the magic touch.


The closet in this room drives me crazy.  With all the blankets and sheets in disarray and about to fall off the shelf, to the luggage and cat carriers just thrown in there.  Plus some of those sheets are for bed sizes I don't even have any more.  Why?  Not sure.  Clearly a clean-out item.

The big pile on the right is being donated to Goodwill and the long bag will slide under my bed.
Yeah!  The After!

Fortunately the bathroom and master bedroom did not fall to much disrepair from last year.  I had a couple of stacks of clothes and socks that will be heading to good will.  But I am still so surprised to find so much to donate and/or recycle.  Here is my pile from this little condo.

Now I will spend the week dropping all of this off at it's new home.  Just glad that it will be out of mine.

Happy 2011!!!  May it be the best ever!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  I had a great New Year's Eve and this morning is moving right along. 

Last night Mama, The Fosters (Gary, Emily, Jack and Matilda) and I went to see the Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo.  It is becoming a yearly tradition for the Fosters and we like to tag along when we can.  I missed last year and it rained.  This year was cold.  I mean super cold.  Around 32 degrees with a feel like temp of 25.  Add to it some wind and have mercy!  Then we were off to Russell Street BBQ for some dinner.  This is on of my favorite BBQ spots in Portland.  Their greens are made from kale instead of collards and they are awesome, their mac & cheese is creamy and their sauces are great.  I really like their pulled pork but I love their fried pies.  Last night I had the Fried Pie Duet (one chocolate and one fruit which was blackberry).  Happy Sunya!  Happy Sunya!

Right before the goat gave Jack a kiss.   

This morning I am working on my Annual New Year's Day Clean-out.  I will post this tomorrow as it is an all day event.

But as I was going through the kitchen this morning and doing some organizing I found some less than half bags of cookie and muffin mixes from Bob's Red Mill.  I really like their products.  So since I did not have enough of either to make the full batches and they had similar ingredients I just combined them together, added some extra goodies and away I went.

These yummy ingredients along w/ a little oil, egg and brown sugar...

...turned into these delicious muffins.
These muffins were great with my morning coffee and some egg whites with cheese.  I think they will be even better through out the week crumbled over my morning oatmeal.

Tip of the day: I get asked a lot how do you not have muffins stick to the pan or stick to the liners.  If you are not using liners then make sure and grease the pan.  I don't want the extra oil so I use liners but I make sure they are made of parchment paper.  Mine are made by a company called If You Care.  I use a lot of their products and love them all.  Regardless of if you grease or if you paper the big secret is....(drum roll please)...let them cool on a baking rack for 5 to 10 minutes.  It is that simple.  Hot muffins, cupcakes, cakes and quick breads will fall apart or stick to the surface if you do not let them cool and the air needs to reach the bottom surface of the pan.  It is really that simple.

Have a wonderful day!  And I will see y'all tomorrow with my clean-out results.

New Year, New Start!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oatmeal...OH MY!

Okay.  I just posted that I was going to make some of the Whipped Banana Oatmeal from the blog Kath Eats Real Food.  If you visit her blog you will see she does some amazing things with her morning oatmeal.  So I figured anyone that is that dedicated to oatmeal that she has a tribute on her page has to have an amazing recipe.  And I was right.

Seriously!  It is a good thing I do not have a video camera in my kitchen.  I was doing a happy dance in a crazy way!  Wow!  Amazing!  Wow!  Paws was starting to wonder if I was having a seizure I was acting so weird.

I stuck with her recipe but I did not have any chia or flax (I will be getting some today).  I did add a bit of brown sugar, cottage cheese (cause she kept talking about it and I had some) and a spoonful of chunky peanut butter.

I think I will be eating this every morning for the rest of my life.  I cannot wait to try some of the combos she has on her blog!

Walk Sunya Walk!

Yesterday I ate at some of the best places in Portland.  For breakfast/lunch I stopped for B&G (biscuits and gravy) at Pine State Biscuits.   I had the Moneyball which is one of my favorites.  Then later in the day I hooked up with my Welsh friend Gareth to check out Porque No? for some fish tacos and a fab pomegranate margarita.  It was great.  I was happy.  But then crazy man wanted some pie and who am I to turn down pie.  So it was back to NE Alberta for a slice at Random Order Coffeehouse.   Maybe my friend Doug is right and I do need to move to NE Portland.  I am over there all the time.  That area has some seriously good eats.  Ah ha!  That could be a con as well.  How much bigger would my butt be if I lived there.  Though I have to say that pie man made a good point last night.  If I lived over there I could walk to all those places and get in some exercise.  True, but then I would miss St. Johns.  Good thing I don't have to decide right now.

B&G from Pine State Biscuits

Margarita w/ mood lighting!
Ahhhh pie!!!!!

What I did need to decide right now was that I ate too much yesterday and I need to get a move on this morning.  So I bundled up and headed out for a nice 2 mile walk.  Okay so I was walking to one of my favorite local breakfast places but they were closed for the holiday.  Darn!  So I am back to fix some yummy oatmeal that I found on my new favorite blog.  Check this out.  Whipped Banana Oatmeal.  Nothing like something warm in your tummy after a chilly walk.

Have a wonderful Sunya-day!!!